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The question this week comes from Dan Wright, who was asked: “What is coaching?”       Your Turn: Ask PDP Anything Do you have a coaching question that we might be able to help with? We would love to hear from you. Here’s what you can do: Join the conversation on our PDP Slack Community. Post them in the comments section, tweet them to us at @playerdp, or ask them on our Facebook page. Additional Resources Check out other Q&A Videos here.   Ebook: Coaching Fundamentals: Six Steps to…

This practice is designed to provide players an opportunity to warm-up in an enjoyable manner using a non football small-sided game. The game allows players to achieve a variety of movements to warm up in a fun, competitive setting with principles of football (attack, defence, transition) still present. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dan will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes…

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This session helps players understand how to use the sideline as an extra defender. The constraints of the practice encourage players to use the sideline, forcing their opponent out while creating opportunities for attackers to cut in and work on their 1v1 dribbling or running with the ball. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dave will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes…

In this article, PDP Lead Researcher, James Vaughan reflects on how a history of linear, data-driven approaches are limiting player development. James emphasises the importance of understanding the complexity that comes with human development. Last month I finally published a scientific paper, Developing Creativity to Enhance Human Potential in Sport: A Wicked Transdisciplinary Challenge. After rejections and reviews, the paper was finally out there. Cue scientific revolution and practical evolution – next step Nobel prize ceremony in December. Not quite. Even so, I was excited…

This session is designed to allow attacking players opportunities to combine and exploit space in behind to score. Players are tasked with timing runs into space in behind the defenders. Attackers focus on combinations, timing of movement and finishing. Defenders are challenged with defending high in pairs and working hard to recover and stop the attack. This practice is valuable for position specific work with central midfielders, strikers and defenders. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation…

Resident positive psychology expert, Lara Mossman discusses how to create positive sports environments for developing players. In this challenging article Lara discusses what role coaches can play in trying to apply positive psychology to their approach and whether traditional coach education has done enough to arm coaches with the right skills to do so. Does positive youth development have a place in football coaching? From coaching, parenting and players there is a growing interest in bringing learnings from positive psychology to the sports field. Before…

Receiving, retention, and mastery of the ball are critical skills for young players to learn. An individual’s first touch and overall ball control will have a massive impact on both their competence and their confidence when playing the game, and it’s vital that we can effectively help kids develop these skills. Below, we examine why it’s so important to help players improve their ball control, and discuss some of the best ways to help kids build a connection with the ball. In This Article Helping…

This practice is designed to provide players with opportunities to practice combination play in a 3v3 scenario. The rules of the game lend itself to repetition of 1v1 moments and chances to create, score or stop goals. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dan will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes and how you can adapt it for your players. Would you…

Paul McGuinness was immersed in the world of Manchester United as a player and coach for 28 years. Paul learnt his craft from his father Wilf, a Manchester United Manager and was mentored by the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Matt Busby, Tony Whelan and more. PDP Editor Dave Wright sits down with Paul to discuss his personal journey, sharing incredible stories of the culture and family values of the club and how he and his colleagues instilled them in the academy. Paul also…

Creating a soccer training schedule for an entire season takes careful planning. We need to consider the individuals we’re working with, our environment, what our players want to achieve, and then how we can help them accomplish their goals within those parameters. But the process isn’t necessarily as complicated as it seems. Below, we discuss the key components of a successful training program, how to adapt it when circumstances require, and how to create an appropriate training schedule for our own teams. In This Article…

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This practice is is a small sided game designed to provide players with opportunities to practice small possession based scenarios that are specific to a 1-4-3-3 formation. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dan will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes and how you can adapt it for your players. Would you like to enhance your knowledge of physical conditioning for soccer? Click…

Ben Bartlett, Senior Youth Coach Educator at the Football Association, gives some fascinating real-life examples to explain the importance of aligning a team’s ideal model of performance with the capabilities and behaviours of its players and the practice of its coaching. There is a Japanese proverb, highlighted by James Kerr in his book ‘Legacy’, which states that “Vision without action is a day-dream; action without vision is a nightmare”. With this in mind, lecturer and coach developer Bob Muir proposed the model below, asking coaches…

Ego. Why does it dominate coaching? Player Development Project Editor & academy coach, Dave Wright challenges the place of ego in coaching questioning where it comes from, the difficulty of removing it and accepting that as a coach, you may not have all the answers. “The kumara (sweet potato) does not need to say how sweet he is.” It’s game day. A cold winter’s morning, you look outside, it’s gloomy, but there’s no rain. Game on. You’ve planned and prepared for weeks through a gruelling pre-season….

Communicating with children is a fundamental part of youth coaching. How we interact and connect with our players underpins everything else we do, making it vital that we learn to communicate effectively and form positive relationships. In this article, we explain why it’s so important to connect with our players, discuss the value of empowerment in learning, and consider some effective strategies for communicating with children.  In This Article The Importance of Connecting Knowing When to Intervene Effective Communication Strategies Empowering Our Players Communicating With…

This practice is provides players an opportunity to work on their 1v1 skills with a view to playing forward as much as possible. Players will be challenged with finding space to receive, receiving skills, retention under pressure and of course completing a pass in order to get success. Be conscious of the physical demands within the practice and try to be creative in how you could adapt this to make it easier or harder. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the…

In this Masterclass Webinar replay, PDP Coaching Advisor, Dan Cooke joins PDP Co-founder, Dave Wright for an in depth discussion on how to support players physical development through football. Dan and Dave will discuss some key considerations for coaches, take a deep dive on the topic of speed, share practical examples and discuss how to use small sided games for physical outcomes. Image Source: Unsplash Would you like to learn more about physical performance in football? View our online course on Physical Performance through Soccer….

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